At Big Chief Tire, we’re more than just an auto repair shop — our employees and customers are family. We mean that literally when it comes to HR Manager Kesley Parman Roth. She grew up watching her father, Fritz Parman III, grandfather, and other family members grow the Big Chief Tire business. We sat down with Kelsey to hear more about her tenured career, why she loves being part of our family-owned and operated team, and what the “Big Chief Values” means to her.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a wife to my wonderful husband, Jeremy, and a mama to my six-year-old daughter, Maxwell. She is everything — she’s a lot of fun and really spunky. I’m also a mama to a dog and two cats, Chief and Yoda.
My dad was an avid runner, so I recently took up running in his honor. I am currently training for a half-marathon in November. I love spending time with my family and adore my nieces and nephews.
What has your experience been like working at Big Chief Tire over the years?
I started working at Big Chief in high school, so I’ve been around the business my whole life. Out of college, my dad wanted me to try something different.
I went to work at Merril Lynch but did not enjoy my time in the corporate world. I realized that if I was going to care about my work, then I wanted to do it here at Big Chief. So they let me come back to the family business. I’ve been back 11 years.
I started in what is now known as our service advisor role, but when I had my daughter, my position began to change. I moved into an HR role that didn’t previously exist but was much needed.
What is your role as HR Manager?
I support our team with whatever they need, whether assisting a sales advisor or helping a new employee with training. I make sure that our team has the best skills in Jacksonville.
I’m a behind-the-scenes, do-whatever-it-takes kind of employee, so I don’t always view my role as overly important.
What do you find most fulfilling about your job?
The most fulfilling part comes when I can assist one of our teammates with something when they’re having a hard time. I enjoy any time that I can help someone else find success. From assisting an employee with computer issues to helping a customer, I like to be a helper and alleviate headaches or problems.
I also love spending time with my team and getting to know their lives better. I enjoy onboarding new employees and think of myself as the company cruise director; I help them get acclimated to their new jobs.
What is the “Big Chief Difference”?
Honesty and integrity are at the heart of our business. Unfortunately, our competitors were taught so differently. Their strategy is to sell, sell, and sell, whether customers need a service or product or not.
Because of that, consumers don’t always feel safe in our industry. They are taught not to trust mechanics. But at Big Chief, we just want to take care of people. If you don’t need something, we’re not going to pressure you to buy it. We treat you like family.
We provide security to our customers because of who we are as a family business and the values we were founded on. We are constantly working to improve our transparency to build that trust with our customers. For example, we’re now offering digital inspections. These show customers with their own eyes what we’re doing and why we recommend services.
What is your favorite Big Chief Tire memory?
In general, I’ve always enjoyed working with family. When my dad was alive, he would always go around to all the Big Chief stores and bring Chick-fil-a regularly. On lucky days Dad would plan his whole day around eating lunch with my brother or me.
He learned this from his dad. I remember as a kid, the day stopped at 11:30 a.m. on the dot for my dad and his dad to eat lunch together. My dad continued that 11:30 a.m. tradition, and it will always be a treasured memory of mine.
What separates Big Chief Tire from other mechanics in the area?
So often, people aren’t treated by mechanics with the kindness and respect they deserve. At the core of who we are, we care about our customers. I don’t think you’ll find a team who cares more about its customers than Big Chief Tire. It’s the feeling that you’re safe here.
It reminds me how growing up as kids, our family home was always a safe place, too. It was always the gathering space for proms and parties. We had family and friends over so often my dad always joked that he never knew whose butt would be sticking out of the refrigerator.
I see that same feeling of welcome offered here at Big Chief. That’s the family experience we provide for our customers.